I think there is no doubt that the four editors of Viajablog are more of a backpack and trekking boots than a tie and suitcase with wheels. Despite this, from time to time trips (personal or business) arise that are quite far from what we are used to or prefer a priori.
One type of trip that I had not considered before was to travel on a cruise for several days. While it is true that I have used ferries and ferries (with several night trips behind my back) and that I did a three-day / two-night river excursion through the Yangtze and the Three Gorges Dam (I still laugh at rereading the text of Isa), the idea of embarking on a luxury vessel to travel a part of the Mediterranean for a week, had never crossed my mind.
The opportunity, which was presented thanks to Logitravel, as I commented in a previous post, apart from the talks and presentations of and between bloggers, offered me the opportunity to talk to you, with first-hand knowledge, about the experience of traveling in a cruise that departed from Barcelona and would arrive in Marseille, Genoa, Palermo, Naples, Tunisia and Palma de Mallorca before returning to its point of origin.
Landing early in the morning in El Prat, the best way to go to the city is to use the Cercanías de RENFE first and the Metro afterwards, being the most economical way the T-Day Card of 1 zone (it only costs 5, 50 euros and allows unlimited travel, in one area, in RENFE Cercanías, Metro, Bus, Tram and Railroad of the Generalitat) and that allowed me to meet Isabel at the Drassanes Metro stop, towards the end of Las Ramblas.
To get to the ship, anchored in Terminal A of the Terraced Dock, we took the blue shuttle that stops almost in the shade (little) of the statue of Columbus, near the information kiosk (as confirmed by one of the workers of the swallows that make short trips through the mouth of the port). Two euros per person prevented us from a walk that would have been more than half an hour, dragging heavy suitcases under a brutal sun that does not distinguish outsiders from Barcelona.
As the bus route allows us a view of the starboard side first, the stern after and then the port side, where we will finally stop, the boat seems like a colossus. It was one thing to read the dimensions on the Internet and another, very different, to look up from the pier, seeking to cover the equivalent of several buildings of a fortnight standing next to each other.
The MSC Orchestra, the new jewel (a little over a year old, since it was launched in mid-May 2007) from the Italian MSC shipping company, Mediterranean Shipping Cruises, is capable of transporting a maximum of 3013 passengers in its comfortable 1275 cabins (of which 18 are luxury suites on deck 15).
The formalities to get on board, from a predetermined time, are similar to those of the airports. In this particular case we did not carry any tickets but we will deliver it to Fatima, from Globally, the company that has managed the event to Logitravel. With the document in hand, at an adjacent counter we leave the luggage, which is clearly identified by the ground staff. We will not see our bags again until, a while later, they leave them at the door of our cabin.
Then we will go through a metal detector arc and an X-ray machine, a procedure that is usual for any traveler, go by land, air or, as in this case, sea. At the MSC counters we identify and give us, in a blue cloth booklet, more documents (ship plan, copy of the general conditions, two postcards, an introductory guide on services and life on board) and a card which we should not separate